Learn how to save money at Disney World with these easy tips and tricks. 10 ways to save money at Disney World that are simple.
How to save money at Disney World
Many people think that once you have purchased park tickets and reserved hotel rooms for Disney World, they are on the home stretch. Unfortunately, inside the parks can set you back much more money during the Disney experience.
It is important to know what to expect inside the parks and how you can save money. These are my favorite tips to save money at Disney World that you might not have thought about.
These tips should help you save inside the parks. There are so many additional expenses that might not have crossed your mind. Take a look at some of these easy to try tips to ensure your experience does not break the bank.
There are actually lots of easy ways to save money. Together, they add up for a nice savings. Put these to good use and watch the savings add up at Disney theme parks and water parks.
Ways to save at Disney World
Let’s get started with these really easy ways to save money at Disney World. These are so simple to try but have a big impact on your bank account. Each of these tips can be easily accomplished without much effort.
1. Bring your own souvenirs into the parks.
Nearly every single ride at Disney World makes you exit through a gift shop with targeted merchandise for that ride. Everything is crazy expensive so it would save you a ton of money to put a few Disney themed items into your backpack to pop out at those times.
The Disney Store has lots of neat items and if you really want it to be identical, just search for Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise. The savings is crazy simply by purchasing this in advance.
The authentic park merchandise at the Disney Store is particularly a great way to go. The savings are significant and kids will enjoy the same items for less.
2. Don’t pay for drinks inside the park.
Pack your own bottled water or juice boxes. If carrying all these things around doesn’t suit you, simply pack an empty bottle.
You can refill it at water fountains or at many counter services restaurants for free. Another tip is to pack some flavored water packets in your backpack.
These are easy to pour into a bottle of water if your kids want something different. The lemonade packets are delicious and we like those especially.
Not only will you save money but you will save time. You will not have to wait in those long lines to get a drink.
A bottle of water is so expensive inside the parks. You can purchase an entire case of water for less than one bottle inside the parks.
Do yourself a favor and pack water. If you are going during warmer months, freeze the water and it will thaw during the day. The bottles will be perfect by the time you are ready to enjoy.
This is a huge money saver without much extra effort.
3. Bring your own Glow Sticks and Light Up Toys
At night, kids will be bombarded by vendors walking around at the parade selling lots of cool light up toys. These are seriously overpriced but look really cool.
Stop by Dollar Tree before your vacation and load up on glow sticks and glow wands. Many Dollar Tree stores or Walmart even carry the Disney character glow wands.
Your kids will be just as thrilled and this will save you a TON of money. This will save a tremendous amount of money and it is very convenient as well. Whether you are waiting to see the fireworks or just walking around, you can hand out these fun toys to kids.
4. Buy Dress Up Costumes from Disney Store
Many children walk around the Parks in costumes especially for character meet and greets. Order whatever costume your child likes before vacation from Disney Store.
You can purchase these for a fraction of the cost before hand. Again, if you care about it being exactly like what is sold at the parks make sure to search for Disney Parks Authentic Merchandise.
You can also find things on clearance or sale at your local retail stores. Also make sure you check Amazon for some great prices on princess dresses. I almost buy all mine on Amazon now.
It is so convenient and the kids get to wear really fabulous costumes at the park. I think it is a win all around. You will save a lot of money and might even can buy a couple.
Children will enjoy having these whimsical costumes to wear during the trip.
5. Bring Snacks
Bringing snacks is an easy way to save money at Disney World. Pick up Disney themed fruit snacks, Disney candy and other items to eat inside the parks.
Kid’s will be thrilled to get a treat with their special Disney characters on it and you will be thrilled you didn’t pay “Disney Parks” prices. It is also so nice to enjoy a snack at your convenience and not have to wait in line.
We often use snack time as a way to make the long lines not seem so long. The kids can pass the time by enjoying a snack while they wait. This is so easy to do since the snacks are so handy in your backpack.
People are always so surprised when they hear that Disney allows you to bring in outside food and drinks. It is probably the number one money saving tip. If you do not try anything else except this, the savings will really add up.
6. Bring Lunch
Pack your lunch and take it into the Parks. That way you can save your money for a nice dinner or character experience. I would much rather spend that money on a nice meal than a bunch of fast food in the parks.
Plus, you don’t have to wait in any long lines if you pack your lunch with you. Less time in lines means more time doing all the fun things.
Most people are too hot anyways to eat a heavy meal for lunch while inside the Parks. Walmart has mickey mouse shaped snack trays in the fruit section at most Walmart locations.
This is very similar to a children’s kids’ meal at many counter service restaurants. It has cheese, grapes and other little snack type food items.
Sandwiches or DIY Uncrustables are also easy, cheap and a big hit. We make these and they are freezer friendly.
Grab a few and by the time you are ready to enjoy, they should be ready to eat. If your hotel does not have a freezer compartment in the fridge, just make these the day of and pack as normal.
7. Make or Bring your own Autograph Books
You can buy a very nice Disney character notebook at Dollar Tree or Walmart or even on Amazon. Bring one of those to use as your autograph book.
It will serve the purpose just as well as the ones they sell inside the Parks. Kid’s are just excited to have their favorite character’s sign something.
You might also want to bring a pen to use with the books. It is easier for some of the characters to hold a larger size pen. I like to pack a couple of sharpies to take with us. It never hurts to have an extra pen so pack a couple.
8. Save inside Disney Parks by having a “Free Day”
Save money at Disney World by NOT going to the Parks one day. Plan a “Free Day”. There is SO much to do at the resort if you are staying onsite Disney. Our family calls this a free Disney day and everyone actually looks forward to it.
They have movies by the pool, games for the kids and just tons of activities that are free. It’s so nice to just have a day to relax by the pool and take advantage of all the cool activities and explore the resort.
If you plan to see a park per day, reconsider and have a free day at the resort. Your family will feel more rested from taking a day off and everyone will enjoy this time to explore.
The resorts really are fabulous and it is worth taking the time to enjoy. We haven’t always had a free day at the resort and I left feeling like we missed out. Now, we take this day and get to enjoy all the fun things at the resort.
Disney makes everything special so you will find each hotel has really neat things to do and see. Staying at a Disney is something we always look forward to. They make the hotel rooms so fun and themed with lots of character décor and more.
Now, if you plan to stay off site, you can still enjoy the hotel amenities at your hotel. Another idea is to check out Disney Springs. This does not require a park ticket and is a neat place with lots of shops and restaurants.
9. Give Kid’s a Budget inside Parks
Let each child know beforehand what their set budget is and when it’s gone it’s gone. This cuts down on meltdowns and unrealistic expectations.
Some people like to hand out Disney Gift cards to each child so they can have something visual to remind them of their limit. This is a great opportunity for the kids to learn about money and how to manage it.
I have found by doing this in advance, it really cuts down on a lot of stress inside the park.
10. Share Meals
If you do plan to purchase food inside Parks, the portions are very generous. Children can easily share a meal to help you save money at Disney World.
It may be cheaper to buy 1 adult meal and let 2 children split that as opposed to buying 2 kid’s meals. Even adults with hefty appetites may be able to split a meal because Disney is very generous with portions.
If you enjoy having all the things done prior to the trip, this might be a helpful direction once the dining plan starts back.
What other Tips to Save at Disney do you have?
We have shared our favorite tips to save money inside Disney parks. Try some or all of these to watch the savings add up.
These can easily be done without sacrificing any fun or taking away from the Disney experience. Not only will these tips save you money but add to your vacation. I think they make the overall experience even more fun.
No one likes waiting in lines and many of these tips will reduce so much of that. This is a big deal to my kids and help so much.
Saving money in these areas will allow you to spend money in the areas that mean the most. No one wants to spend money needlessly. Start saving money today and treat your family to something special at Disney.
The memories made will be so special. Your children will talk about them for years to come.
Please share any tips you have in the comments section below.